Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by Tee Thye Lim & Chiew Lin May
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is glad they attended the 9th East and Southeast Asian Wild Animal Rescue Network Conference (WARN Conference) from 7th to 11th November 2017 in Cuc Phuong, Vietnam. This year, the WARN Conference was hosted by the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (Cuc Phuong, Vietnam). A total of 70 participants from 18 organizations attended the conference and shared their experiences related to animal rescue, rehabilitation and release through presentations, practical workshops and site visits to their rescued centres. The theme of this year was “Wildlife Rescuing,Rehabilitation and Release”.
The purpose of WARN is to enhance the capabilities of East and South East Asian wildlife rescue centers to rescue and conserve wildlife, provide conservation awareness education for the public and advocate minimum standards for wildlife rescue centers.
One of the highlights of the conference was the post conference tour to
i. Endangered Primate Rescue Center
ii. Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program)
iii. The Turtle Conservation Centre
iv. FOUR PAWS Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh
v. Van Long Nature Reserve
The conference was a great opportunity to tackle the ongoing wildlife crisis and develop better rescue, rehabilitation and release animal care. Huge thanks to WARN Members and Endangered Primate Rescue Center for hosting this successful 9th WARN Conference. It was great sharing experience!!
On the 24th and 25th of October 2017, BSBCC joined a conference exhibition on the International Conference on Heart of Borneo (HoB) that was held at the Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This two-day event organized by the Sabah Forestry Department, themed 'A Decade of HoB Initiative: Accomplishments and the Way Forward, marked the 10th year of HoB's initiatives. The event was officiated by Sabah Chief Minister Y.A.B. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman. Hundreds of participants from various organizations, sectors and higher institutions: locally and international participated in this programme. The objectives of this conference are to share the current achievements of the HoB Initiative throughout a decade of its implementation, to re-assess major activities which are critical to the HoB and the responsibilities of stakeholders by key sectors; and to streamline and coordinate actions towards realising the HoB Initiative.
BSBCC CORNER- Dr. Wong as a keynote speaker at the 13th International School Brunei (ISB) Global Issues Conference
On the 11th March 2017, Dr. Wong Siew Te (CEO and Founder of the BSBCC), was invited as a keynote speaker to deliver his talk at the 13th International School Brunei (ISB) Borneo Global Issues Conference.
In his speech, Dr. Wong stressed the need to seek alternatives, citing examples where, instead of cutting down natural forests, fast growing species like Acasia could be used for consumption.
"We must support sustainable palm oil as much as possible. We must use less resources, recycle as much as possible and value food without wasting it", he added.
Meanwhile another keynote speaker Kenny Peavy (American author, explorer and eco-activist) has delivered his talk on raising awareness on endangered species in Southeast Asia.
Our youths play one of the most important roles in achieving a better life for future generations. It is easier for young people to communicate and voice their fresh ideas, and to use their energy to build a better world. Karan Jerath, a UN Global Young Leader and inventor, has said that "It does not matter how old you are or where you came from, and how much you know, as long as you
allow your ideas to become a reality".
Compassionate Conservation: The holistic approaches of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to conserve sun bears
Last week Wai Pak and I attended the Asia for Animal 2011 Conference in Chengdu, China. Representing Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, we are the only participants from Sabah, and one of the few animal welfare, care, and rescue organizations from Malaysia to attend the biggest event and gathering of the year for animal lovers all over Asian countries. The conference was hosted by Jill Robinson and her team at Animal Asia Foundation. During the conference, I am honored to deliver a talk during the "Compassionate Conservation" session and my talk entitled "The holistic approaches of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to conserve sun bears in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo." I am grateful to the organizer of the conference to provide the travel expenses for me to share our experiences working with sun bears with the audience.
The abstract of the talk is as following:
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is being developed in Sabah Malaysian Borneo as rescue, rehabilitation, education, and research centre for the sun bear. In Sabah, these bears continue to be threatened by forest degradation and habitat loss, illegal hunting for bear parts and to protect crops, and poaching to obtain young cubs for the pet trade. As a result of these threats, many young sun bears are living in unnatural and solitary captive conditions throughout Sabah, with no access to outdoor areas. The goal of the new BSBCC is to promote Malayan sun bear conservation by (1) creating the capacity to confiscate, rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears back into the wild; (2) providing an improved long-term living environment for captive bears welfare that cannot be released; and (3) educating the public and raising awareness about this little known species through visitor and education outreach programs, and (4) conduct research on both captives and wild sun bears. The BSBCC was established as a non-profit organization in Sabah in 2008. It is a joint project among sun bear researcher Siew Te Wong, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD). Funding for the project is acquired through various grants from funding agencies, individual donations, government supports, and special events. Bear Action Teams (BATs) volunteering program provide the opportunity for locals and international volunteer groups to get involve on husbandry and construction of the facilities. We develop BSBCC from a holistic approach involving multiple levels of people that work toward compassionate conservation where animal welfare, education, research and conservation the species all meet on the same ground. This approach is particular important to conserve threaten species like the sun bears so that maximum conservation outputs can be achieved without wasting the already limited conservation resources in this region.
Beside attending the conference and meeting and networking with everyone. We also visited the AAF's Chengdu Moon Bear Rescue Centre. It was truly an eye-opening experience for us to see and to learn the day-to-day operations and husbandry of the centre which currently is home to more than 160 moon bears and few brown bears. We are grateful to the centre for letting Wai Pak stay for few more days after the conference to learn more about the day-to-day husbandry and veterinary care of these rescued moon bears. All of the knowledge is crucial to help BSBCC do a better job on caring and managing our rescued sun bears.
Finally I also visited the Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu to see the third species of bears beside the moon and the brown bears - the black and white bear- Giant Panda! They, of course, is the complete opposite of the little known sun bear because giant panda is THE super star, super celebrity, super worship, super popular and by far THE most well known bear species in the world!
After months of preparation, the BSBCC Facebook fundraiser 2011 finally starts NOW and will end at 6 pm Central Standard Time in USA.
Please come and join us for this event that we all have been waiting for.
I am really sorry that I cannot join you all in facebook because Wai Pak (the project manager of BSBCC) and I are now in ChengDu, China, attending the Asia for Animals Conference 2011. I have no access to facebook because it is banned in China (don't ask me why :)). I will be giving an oral presentation entitled "The holistic approaches of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to conserve sun bears in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo" on Monday. I hope the presentation will let more animal lovers in Asia know about our works to conserve sun bears and networking with other animal welfare/conservation NGOs in Asia.
Two days ago Wai Pak and I visited the Animal Asia Foundation's Moon Bear Rescue Centre. The rescue centre is home to 162 moon bears rescued from bear farms across China. I pay my highest respects to Jill Robinson and her team working tirelessly to rescue and to stop bear farming practice in China. It was an eye opening experience for us to see the amount of efforts AAF's team put in to help these poor moon bears.
Thank you everyone for making this fundraiser possible. As I write this blog, we have raised over US$1800 on this fundraiser event. Thank you all volunteers who organize this events, the donors and supporters to help us and sun bears. Our work would not be possible without your helps and kind support!
I thank you again!